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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 16, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Wednesday, May 16, 2007 FORUM Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Managing Editor Gerard MacCrossan Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising/Marketing Director Chuck Evers Business Manager Valerie Shields News Editor Kerf Kirby UMM tHHBHMMHMMMMnnHMMMPMMMHM Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, May 16, the 136th day of 2007. There are 229 days left in the year. Today’s I lighlight in History: On May 16,1929, the first Academy Awards were presented during a banquet at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The movie “Wings” won “best production,” while Emil Jannings and Janet Gaynor were named best actor and best actress. On this date: In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15. In 1866, Congress authorized minting of the first five-cent piece, also known as the “Shield nickel.” In 1868, the Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on one of the 11 articles of impeachment against him. In 1905, actor Henry Fonda was born in Grand Island, Neb. In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV. In 1946, the Irving Berlin musical "Annie Get Your Gun,” starring Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley, opened on Broadway. In 1960, a Big Four summit conference in Paris collapsed on its opening day as the Soviet Union leveled spy charges against the U.S. in the wake of the U2 incident. In 1975, Japanese climber JunkoTabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 1977, five people were killed when a New York Airways helicopter, idling atop the Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan, toppled over, sending a huge rotor blade flying. In 1991, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address the U.S. Congress. Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton publicly apologized for the notorious Tuskegee experiment, in which government scientists deliberately allowed black men to weaken and die of treatable syphilis. The space shuttle Atlantis docked with Russia’s Mir station. In Zaire, President Mobutu Sese Seko ended 32 years of autocratic rule, giving control of the country to rebel forces. Five years ago: The White House defended President Bush for not disclosing intelligence before the Sept. 11 attacks that Osama bin Laden wanted to hijack U.S. airplanes, saying there had been no specific threat. The remains of kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl were unearthed in Pakistan. One year ago: T he Pentagon released the first video images of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the military headquarters building and killing 189 people on 9/11. LETTERS POLICY ■ Letters must be 250 words or less. ■The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must be accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. PapeP OR , PUM Cl erne' wHATevefc CHAPS Al shorts Trie MOST.. GUESTCOLUMN What does city council do, anyway? On a trip to San Antonio recently, a friend of my 11-year old son asked me: “What does city council do, anyway?" After spending ten minutes explaining it, I glanced into the back seat and saw that both he and my son had fallen fast asleep. Yes, to children and many adults, the reality of city council duties can be about as exciting I as watching paint dry With all the hoopla in the media lately, it may seem that river issues dominate the efforts and actions of our city government. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In the two years that I have served on city council we have had more than 120 meetings. Fewer than five have included issues related to the river. Complainers about the river, pro and con, are fixated on river issues. City KATHLEEN KRUEGER Mail letters to: Letters to Editor do Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- New Braunfels councilwoman Kathleen Krueger represents District 5. Council is not. On average, 30 to 40 subjects related to the operation of our city are discussed and voted on at each regular city council meeting. In other words, each council member potentially casts nearly 1,000 votes a year. Agenda packets, given to us before each meeting, are from 125 to 300 pages long. They include detailed charts, graphs, reports and commentary from city staff, constituents, attorneys, engineers, developers, agricultural experts or anyone else with expertise or an opinion related to the decisions we must make. Outside of regular meetings, council mem bers gather frequently for workshops where the most detailed minutiae of a specific issue are discussed. Now this is where the paint really begins to dry. Topics range from architectural design standards for new development, to floodplain challenges, to street repair, to landscape requirements, to traffic calming devices, to proposed zoning changes. It is in these workshops that the most tedious presentations and discussions are held to find ways to improve the infrastructure and quality of life for residents of New Braunfels. And how many observers are in the audience during these evening discussions? Anywhere from zero to three, usually. Unlike county commissioners, city council members receive no monthly salary, have no offices, nor personal staffs. Last week, a constituent called me with a recycling question. “I’m so sorry to bother you at home,” she said. No bother, I assured her, “my kitchen counter is my office!” On that kitchen counter, I keep a notebook in which I list individual constituent requests. When, with the assistance of the city manager and city staff, the need has been successfully addressed, I place a check mark next to their name. In the past weeks, I have been called with questions about loud music, speeding cars, raccoons, flooding problems, littering, and sno-cone sales. Walking door-to-door to answer questions about downzoning efforts, I have lingered to hear about my neighbors’ children, whether their ill husbands are feeling better and what their hopes are for their homes. These personal exchanges make all the hours spent "watching paint dry” worth it. What does city council do? More than you might think. Falwell was major influence on Christian right’s rise The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who died in his office on Tuesday at the age 73, was a seminal figure in the rise of what liberals despairingly called the “Religious Right." Without him, it is doubtful Christian fundamentalist, Evangelical Christians , a j and conservate \ V five Roman CALTHOMAS (a,holics Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services International. Direct all mail for Cal Thomas to: Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60611, or leai>e an e-mail at would ever have mobilized into the significant voting bloc that elected Ronald Reagan twice, George H.W. Bush once and the current President Bush. As a vice president of the Moral Majority from 1980 to 1985,1 witnessed the rise of this movement from the inside. It had its positives, including a focus on “moral issues,” such as abortion, same-sex marriage, a strong national defense and the cultural decline of the nation and the registering of many previously inactive people to participate in the political life of their nation. All of these remain hot-button issues. The movement also had its downside, because it tended to detract from a Christian’s primary responsibility of telling people the “good news” that redemption comes only through Jesus Christ. At times, this central message seemed to be replaced by one suggesting that a shortcut to moral renewal might come through Washington and the Republican Party. Mainstream media loved the story of Christian conservatives coming out of the political catacombs, because it created controversy. The daily battles between left and right and between the religious and secular sometimes resembled professional wrestling in their intensity and animosity. TV program bookers searched for the most outrageous and extreme people to “debate” Falwell because it brought them high ratings, if not understanding and consensus. Bill Moyers hosted a TV special in 1980 on which he wondered where these religious conservatives had come from. Most of the media had missed the growing outrage at what conservatives regarded as liberal intrusion into their sacred traditions. The outlawing of prayer in public schools in the early ‘60s had deeply affected them. They had prayed as children and they wondered why the Supreme Court would not allow their children to pray or read the Bible in public schools. It was the high court's 1973 abortion ruling, however, that became the tipping point for religious conservatives. Falwell began to preach against abortion and to address what he regarded as a crumbling of America's moral underpinnings. People who had heard him preach against the danger to the church when it became entangled with politics suddenly began hearing a different message. Falwell, whose most famous sermon on the subject, preached in 1965, was called “Ministers and Marches” in which he opposed Dr. Martin Luther King’s political activism, began to follow King — at least into the political arena. Falwell had credibility with a large number of conservative pastors, because he knew them and because they, too, were concerned about the direction of the country. The flaw in the movement was the perception that the church had become an appendage to the Republican Party and one more special interest group to be pampered. If one examines the results of the Moral Majority’s agenda, little was accomplished in the political arena and much was lost in the spiritual realm, as many came to believe that to be a Christian meant you also must be “converted” to the Republican Party and adopt the GOP agenda and its tactics. One had only to look at the histo ry of the religious left to see the danger in a shotgun marriage between church and state. Most liberal theologians long ago gave up preaching about another king and another kingdom in favor of baptizing the earthly agenda of the Democratic Party. That too many conservative Christians followed their liberal opposites into the same error was to their shame and demonstrated they had missed an important lesson. Jerry Falwell did not fit the stereotype many sought to impose on him. Fie had a wicked sense of humor and he could be very generous. I once took him to a meeting of inner-city pastors and disadvantaged children in Washington, D.C. One young boy particularly impressed him and Jerry asked the boy to ride with him to the airport. The boy told him he’d like to go to college and Jerry gave him his phone number, saying, “When you graduate from high school, call me. You will have a frill scholarship at Liberty University.” The boy’s father cried. So did I. Jerry liked to say that when he passed away, they’d put “and the beggar died” on his tombstone because he was constantly asking for money. That won’t happen. His legacy will be his university. He once said he wanted it to be like Harvard. All of the rest is “wood, hay and stubble.” United States Government PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE; 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2409 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: SAN ANTONIO OFFICE. 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 21C San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 NOW TO CONTACT Texas Government GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ NATHAN MACIA8 1100 Congress Ave., Rm. E2.704 Austin TX 78701 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 E-mail address: [email protected] STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 925 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: 888-824-6984 E-mail address: [email protected] ■ Judith Zaffirini RO. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262 NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL 424 S. Casten Ave. RO. Box 311747, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1747 ■ Mayor Bruce Boyer [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-4507 ■ Dist. I Councilman Richard Zapata smunozgill @ Telephone: (830) 221-4501 ■ Dist. 2 Councilwoman Beth Sokolyk [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-4502 ■ Dist. 3 Councilwoman Gale Pospisil [email protected] Telephone: (830) 629-2447 ■ Dist. 4 Councilman Pat Wiggins [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-4504 ■ Dist. 6 Councilman Kathleen Krueger kkrueger @ Telephone: (830) 221-4505 ■ Dist. 6 Councilman Vacant ;